In several Chinese cities, people ignored the regime’s ban on fireworks on New Year’s Eve, leading to clashes between the police and the citizens.

Some Chinese civilians are no longer taking the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) mandates seriously. As civil disobedience is rare under the CCP’s dictatorial rule, some started calling their actions “the fireworks revolution.”

Videos circulating on social media showed conflicts with law enforcement in Luyi County, Zhoukou City, Henan Province, on the night of Jan. 2.

The videos, taken as police were arresting violators, showed a large crowd surrounding police vehicles demanding the release of those arrested. They pushed and shoved the police. Unfortunately, some young people then began to smash the police cars and front windshields. In the end, the crowd overturned the police vehicle.

Another video showed that special police then went to the scene. They arrested and left with least two people.

Chinese media Modern Express described the confrontation as “a smashing incident triggered by fireworks,” saying that the crowd “deliberately damaged” police cars.

Eight people were placed under investigation for “suspected of picking quarrels and provoking troubles,” and six of them have been arrested, according to the report.

In addition to Luyi County, the “Fireworks Revolution” also broke out in Chongqing City, and several other cities in Henan Province, Shandong Province, Hebei Province, Jiangsu Province, and Guangxi Province.

People completely ignored the official ban and gathered on the streets to celebrate the arrival of 2023 with fireworks.

Fireworks Ban

Originating from China, lighting fireworks is an Asian tradition to celebrate the New Year. The Chinese believe that fireworks can dispel evil spirits and misfortune, ushering in a joyful new year.

However, the CCP has completely banned fireworks and firecrackers since 2013, citing environmental protection and safety considerations.

In the past year, local governments in many places again specifically restressed the ban on lighting fireworks and firecrackers.

For instance, Beijing has implemented a city-wide ban on fireworks and firecrackers since Jan. 1, 2022. They are prohibited in any area under the jurisdiction of Beijing, the only exception being for those with approval from the municipal government.

Shanghai prohibits such activities within the Outer Ring Expressway.

The Dalian Municipal Government meanwhile has strict controls that allow fireworks in certain areas within a stipulated time frame.

Hefei, Capital city of Anhui Province, prohibits fireworks in the entire jurisdiction under all circumstances.

This kind of total ban is enforced in many other cities, according to Chinese state media.

There have been few reports of large crowds of people violating the firework bans in the past ten years.

The disobedience and defiance demonstrated this year is therefore out of the ordinary, especially in the context that not long ago, the “White Paper” revolution was sweeping China, in which people across the country bravely rose up to protest the CCP’s strict “zero-COVID” strategy.

Jessica Mao

Jessica Mao is a writer for The Epoch Times with a focus on China-related topics. She began writing for the Chinese-language edition in 2009.

Olivia Li




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